A Month of Passover Workshops
By Gillian Jackson
Our congregation came prepared this year to make the best of the second Passover holiday during the pandemic. It was a true community effort, with a month of member-led enlightening workshops scheduled in an effort to support a meaningful holiday.
The month started off with a create-your-own-Haggadah workshop with Debbie Zivan and Deb Kraus. Once everyone had a chance to start building their own Haggadah, Sharon Haar and Patti Smith led a class that provided useful tips for navigating Zoom seders. Leading up to Passover, Idelle Hammond-Sass and Carol Levin led congregants in a reflection on the idea of dayenu, or ‘enoughness,’ using art-making as a tool of exploration. Days before Passover, Rabbi Ora taught participants about the meaning and ritual for getting rid of chametz, with a special pizza-making workshop following the lesson. The holiday wrapped up with a ‘Songs of Freedom’ musical hour with Laurie White and Paul Resnick.
It is a blessing that our congregation was able to make use of the myriad talents that our membership embodies. Thank you so much to all of our Passover volunteer workshop leaders. Our community is grateful to you!
Beit Sefer’s Locally Sourced Seder Plate Symbol Search
By Clare Kinberg, director of the Beit Sefer
Our AARC Beit Sefer students learned this year that the symbols on a seder plate, plus the matzah and grape juice/wine, are not only props to assist the drama of telling the story of the Exodus. Like everything we eat and use, the seder plate symbols come from somewhere and are made by someone. They symbols themselves can express our values such as regard for the environment. Combining this value with the school’s effort to get the kids outside, I devised a “Locally-Sourced Seder Symbol Search.” The requirement was for each seder plate symbol to be made in Michigan, and we succeeded:
- Matzah: Homemade by Rosh Clare from whole wheat flour grown in Grand Traverse and milled at Zingerman’s Bakehouse
- Horseradish: Grown at The Farm on Jennings and dug by the Ullmann/McLane family.
- Apples for Charoset: Grown organically in Michigan contributed by Moreh Mirel.
- Eggs: Lain in Ann Arbor on the Brenden and Diana Hayden Farms, and picked up by Brenna and Jack.
- Sparkling White Grape Juice: Produced and bottled in Paw Paw, and contributed by the Spindler/Nelson family.
- Greens and Parsley: Grown in Michigan and contributed by the Ball, Dieve, and Levin/Passey families.
- For the shankbone, I introduced my own tradition of using a Hamsa, the Jewish and Muslim hand of protection.